The Comptroller-General of the Ghana Immigration Services (GIS), Kwame Asuah- Takyi, has called on West African countries in the Sahel region to strengthen their border security against terrorist attacks.

Speaking at the technical workshop on Regional Cooperation for Enhancing Resilience and Mitigating Risks in Border Management in Accra, Mr. Asuah-Takyi said it is essential for neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo to collaborate and exchange ideas to enhance regional cooperation and coordination on border management and security.

“As neighbouring countries, we must increase our efforts to prepare for and tackle urgent, overlapping issues if it is our objective to strengthen regional cooperation to enhance resilience and mitigate risks in border management,” he said.

These multiple and overlapping issues, according to him, pose serious challenges in maintaining the peace and stability that is required by nations, hence the need to advance regional cooperation and coordination in the border management agenda.

“Current security happenings in the Sahelian states have further highlighted the vulnerabilities and risks faced by us. It threatens our socio-political and economic security with migratory flows, disruption in trade activities due to closure of borders, and an influx of migrants displaced by violence,” he added.

According to Mr. Asuah-Takyi, regional cooperation and coordination can provide valuable support to national and regional border management efforts in the short term while, at the same time, building the foundation for a stronger, more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient sub-region is possible.

He lamented the inadequate infrastructure provision needed to strengthen border security in the West African region.

These inadequacies include the limited use of PISCE to secure the main border points, lack of modern facilities, inadequate capacity-building opportunities for security personnel, low levels of inter-agency cooperation, and limited information sharing among the ECOWAS countries.

As a consequence, he stated that services have had a tough time managing numerous irregular border crossing points, migration data management, and other transnational border crimes.

Team Leader, Governance and Security, European Union to Ghana, Ms. Anna Lixi stated that she recognises the crucial role the immigration services play in strengthening border security, indicating that the union remains committed to supporting initiatives that strengthen security while fostering a human-based approach across all aspects of border management.

She also acknowledged the importance of sharing good practices among countries in the Sahel region which seek to mitigate risks and fortify collective resilience.

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